Safiya Miller has an eye for style and she’s using it for good

Some people 'have the eye' and some people don’t...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Some people ‘have the eye,’ and some people don’t.

Safiya Miller has built her styling career with no formal fashion-related qualifications — just a solid eye for style and a desire to be self-reliant in her career.

Her full-time job is for tech giant Microsoft, but she decided to feed her passion for style by launching SafiyaJihan earlier this year. It seemed like the right move, since so many of her friends kept coming to her for style and fashion advice.

And it was.

Safiya aspires to use her knowledge and unique skills to shift the way we shop. She believes it is important that we are mindful in our choices of what we choose to buy, to wear, and to keep.

See Safiya’s personal style choices below, get to know some of her favorite black designers and most importantly, take notes — this woman is influencing your closet, and you don’t even know it yet.

What year were you founded?


What inspired you to launch your business?

One of my girlfriends, Dr. Kristian H, messaged me to find out where I found my July 4th outfit I posted on Instagram. I was rocking a geometric, blue and white houndstooth dress I found in Union Square in New York years ago with a pair of a red ankle strap heels. After a few conversations with Dr. K, I recognized the same thought pattern I’ve observed in fashion discussions for years.

1) Ever wasted a day shopping? [Yes]

2) Want to look good consistently but not break the bank? [Yes]

3) Want a new look but don’t know where to start? [Yes]

Everyone is tired of wasting time and energy without a guarantee of finding an outfit that truly brings their style to life.

And that’s when it hit me. I could transform my passion around the intersection of fashion, media and technology into a business. For anyone that has always wanted their own personal stylist, I will help you bring your style to life by balancing your most precious resources wisely: time and money.

What makes your brand/product unique?

I specialize in affordable, fierce looks that mix high and fast fashion. I receive compliments and comments about how I am able to re-style existing pieces in my wardrobe to create new show stopping looks. And I help my clients do the same.  

Why should everyone #buyblack this holiday season?

The question is: why shouldn’t you #buyblack this holiday season? Looking for a bold new look? Check out my two favorite black designers: 1) Korto Momolu, who changed the game on Project Runway with her bold designs and bright jewelry and 2) Tracy Reese, who ensured that Michelle Obama stole the night in a custom pink, gold and blue dress for the DNC in 2012.

If we don’t commit to investing in our own talent, how can we demand others do?

How do you pay it forward within your community?

I pay it forward within my community by giving back through the Safiya & Daren Miller No Boundaries Scholarship. The MIMS Institute Fellows Inc. serves as our administrator, and the scholarship was initiated after my brother, Daren Miller, graduated from Duke University in May 2012. After serving with the Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard for 3 years, I vowed after graduation to not wait until “I make it” to start giving back. I believe to whom much is given, much is required, and I pay it forward within my community by emphasizing the importance of empowerment through education.

Our scholarship honors young people that dare to dream big and pursue America’s best post-secondary opportunities. Daren and I both graduated from the St. Petersburg International Baccalaureate Program in St. Petersburg, Florida, and always encourage students to: 1) step out of their comfort zone and 2) remember there are no boundaries to what you can achieve in life.

What is your business mantra?

‘Your style, your canvas.’

Kimberly Wilson is a writer and social media director at theGrio. Follow her on Twitter.